Records We Shouldn’t Keep

Do we really need people Willard Scott wishes a happy birthday to in the air?

A 92-year-old Missouri man said he is aiming to become the oldest person to fly a plane, but he still needs more than a decade to do it.

Ralph McConnell, of Carthage, said he took his most recent flight Saturday in a Piper Warrior for about half an hour, The Joplin (Mo.) Globe reported Monday.

McConnell said he’s going for a record held by a 102-year-old. “I’ve got 10 years to go,” McConnell said. “My doctor, he says, ‘I’ll keep you going.'”

I suppose that, if he passes a flight physical, the mere fact of being 102 years old shouldn’t keep the man grounded. But I’m not sure we should be encouraging children and geriatrics to fly by giving the incentive of a modicum of fame for pushing the envelope, either.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.